Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah does not like her macadamia nuts served to her in a bag, as a plane full of passengers and crew found out last week to their dismay.
In an incident described as “Nut Rage” by Washington Post writer Jena McGregor, Cho, who is the daughter of Korean Air’s chairman and was the vice president in charge of in-flight services (such as food), was seated in First Class waiting for the plane to depart New York for Seoul. A flight attendant brought her a bag of macadamia nuts, and the Korean Air executive had two problems with this: 1) The flight attendant didn’t ask her first if she wanted them; and 2) The flight attended gave her the nuts in a bag rather than on a plate.
For this inexcusable lack of propriety in Korean Air’s service protocols, Ms. Cho demanded to speak to the crew chief, interrogating him about his knowledge of airline nut policy. Not satisfied with his answer, Cho ordered the plane back to the gate and the crew chief off the plane, causing a 20-minute delay, and no end of consternation for the passengers on the plane.
You’ll notice that the second paragraph of this post says that Cho was Korean Air’s executive in charge of in-flight services. That’s because today, The BBC confirms, Cho resigned from her job amid the kerfuffle in South Korea over her actions.
For their part, Korean Air tried to justify her actions, saying that as an executive in charge in-flight services, it’s her job to make sure service is done right, and that the crew is up to speed on policies.
The Korean government, meanwhile, doesn’t see it that way. A South Korea transport ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they’re looking into whether or not Cho’s actions might have violated Korean law.
“Even though she is senior vice-president at the company, she was a passenger at that time, so she had to behave and be treated as a passenger.”
This is hardly the first incident of “air rage” to take place in First Class; earlier this year, Ralph Lauren’s niece went on an angry, expletive-filled tirade that caused her flight to be diverted, according to this Inquisitr report. But this may be the only case of a First Class air rage incident involving an airline employee.
Do you believe the Korean Air executive’s actions were in the right?
[Image courtesy of: Airline Reporter]